Drivetime Spotify App

04 December 2011


Music Hack Day London this weekend. Tom, Blaine and I ended up making a thing which didn’t demo perfectly, called Drivetime.

It solves a common problem: how do I listen to the same classic pop and rock anthems on a Friday afternoon as people in other studios? The answer is with the Drivetime app.

Drivetime is a Spotify app. You drag a playlist into it to start broadcasting – you set your station name with a simple text field. Then, anyone loading the app can click on your name and hear what you’re playing. Not just the current track – it’ll start the track for others at exactly the point you’re currently at, and it’ll advance through the playlist when a track finishes. At any point, you can stop listening, and choose another song to listen to.

That’s it, really: a simple broadcast/listen system, all built into Spotify as a native application.

Drivetime Screengrab

The front-end is just HTML/CSS/Javascript, which is how Spotify apps are built; the communication with the client is via, on top of node.js on the server. Tom and Blaine wrote the back-end; I wrote a bunch of the front-end, which Blaine promptly made much better, and did all the hot pink neon. We all played a lot of Tina Turner in the hacking rooms, and we went home to bed betimes on the Saturday night.

All the code’s in github. The Spotify app only runs (at the moment) if you’re a Spotify developer. We might see if we can get it a bit further and release itspot, so people can listen to one another’s classic rock selections.

It was a fun hack, even if my explanation of it was incoherent, and part of a great weekend – so many superb hacks, large and small, on display.